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Gourmet Gossip – September 2013

friesIn this great dining city of ours, barely a day passes without news of an exciting new restaurant opening, a devastating closing, a shocking chef shuffle, or a groundbreaking, must-try dish.

That’s why we’re keeping you apprised of this week’s most noteworthy bits and bites, including a tasty, new French Fry franchise in Greenwich Village, a Coffee klatch in Chelsea, and South of the Border-inspired small bites in Park Slope!

Seasonal Sweets: Everyone’s favorite croissant-donut hybrid is getting a makeover for fall.  Cronut king Dominique Ansel has just debuted his new Fig and Mascarpone-filled Cronut, and restaurant bigwigs like The Meatball Shop’s Daniel Holtzman and Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien have been rushing over to try it. Just as big news is Ansel’s newly unveiled creation… “The Magic Souffle” – a Grand Marnier Chocolate Souffle tucked inside a freshly baked Orange Blossom Brioche.  (Sounds yummy, no?)

russ-and-daughters_bagel-anGo Fish: After over 90 years in business, it looks like the iconic appetizing spot, Russ & Daughters, is making moves.  Not to worry — they’re not vacating their original Lower East Side location.  But the circa-1914 store has quietly applied for a liquor license for Russ & Daughters Café at 127 Orchard Street, which will go before CB3 in early September.  We wonder what kind of cocktails pair well with Kippered Herring, Whitefish Salad, and a Bagel with a Schmear.

Fantastic Feast: Missy Robbins may no longer have a restaurant to call her own since leaving A Voce in May, but there’s still an opportunity to experience her sophisticated brand of Italian cooking.  She’ll be joining the ‘culinary salon’ at City Grit on Thursday, September 12th, for their annual Feast of San Gennaro dinner, which kicks off an 11-day celebration honoring the Italian saint.  Robbins’ special, five-course menu costs $85 per person (a total steal, by the way) with beer and wine available for purchase during the meal.  Something tells us it will be a whole lot more exciting than the sausages and deep-fried oreos they serve in Little Italy during the festival!

One Potato, Two Potato: Well, you can’t fault them for originality.  Potatopia will be the city’s first entirely spuds-centric restaurant, serving everything from homemade Potato Chips and French Fries to Mashed Potatoes, Baked Potatoes, and Potatoes au Gratin, topped with a variety of meats, vegetables, cheese and sauces.  How about “Sweet Potato Crinkles” topped with asiago cheese and garlic or “Curly Fries” topped with shrimp (yes, really!) and garlic aioli. You’re the chef here.  The growing franchise originated at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison New Jersey, and while it may seem a little gimmicky for hip Greenwich Village, it sounds ideal for late-night pit stops.

imagePark Slope Small Bites: Fonda chef, Roberto Santibanez (who also collaborated with April Bloomfield on Salvation Taco), is opening a brand new Mexican spot across from his original Park Slope eatery.  La Botaneria is taking over the intimate space that formerly housed Beer Table, and even though Santibenez has yet to officially confirm a menu and concept, the name — “botanas” are snacks — has us thinking dishes along the lines of the Carne Asada Taquitos, Duck Zarapes, and Tlacoyo con Hongos (masa boats filled with mushrooms), which he also serves at Fonda.

Smart Move: Chelsea commuters might just want to swing by the Highline Hotel on their way to the office.  Although Intelligentsia already keeps a café in the lobby, the respected Seattle export now has a coffee truck (a refurbished 1967 Citroen the owners found in the South of France), parked outside in the hotel’s garden as well. Dubbed the Intelligentsia Mini Bar, it will feature a limited menu of tea and coffee drinks (made with high altitude beans and direct trade leaves, of course), from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day.  Good news for the rest of the city — they hope to go mobile in 2014.

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